Saturday, February 25, 2012

Catching Black Marlin on Spin Gear

Catching a Black Marlin is a dream for many Aussie fishermen and fisherwomen, and catching a 100 kg plus monster is something most of us can only imagine, but what about doing it with spin gear?

Well that's exactly what Chris Cleaver did while out on the "Serial Killer"with Adrian, Mike and Jason. Using a  Shimano Stella 20000SW on Revolution Offshore 601SW it's hard to tell who put up the bigger fight, Chris or the Marlin. Watch the video and decide for yourself:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No Tuna for Portland Fishers (Yet)

According to media reports,  recreational fishermen in Portland  are missing the start of the tuna season because of  a chemical leak from a Koppers facility near the town's port.

The Country Fire Authority today advised that it was still not safe for boats to launch at the Port of Portland and that the ban could be in place possibly up until this Saturday.

Locals report that this is particularly annoying because of reports that there are a large schools of tuna currently arriving in the area. Many are cross because commercial operations at the port continue and its only the recreational fishermen who appear to still have their activities restricted. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Exploring New Water

Guest contributor Rhett Thorne from Mad Keen Yak Angling tells us why its always important to keep looking for that perfect spot.

When it comes to estuary fishing, everyone has a secret spot, tucked away in the upper reaches of remote creek. I’m exactly the same when it comes to kayak fishing, as I paddle past many possible honey-holes in order to get to my own secret spot.

After having a long break from my kayak I had been keener than ever to get out on the water and flick my Rapala Lures into my favourite snag. I launched my kayak and began the paddle out to my spot in the glassy conditions of flat water and not even the slightest breeze of wind.

Picture perfect conditions
Wasting half an hour getting to my spot I happily began casting my lure at the snags most likely to hold fish. Only a minute later I was greeted by the frustrating sound of a boat motor cruising down my creek, which so happened to pull up just at my spot. Not so secret eh? I then spent the next two hours casting at empty snags or shut down fish.

My gear of choice is a baitcast combo for throwing larger hard-bodies, like the Rapala Saltwater X-rap 10 at Barra and Jacks in the snags, and a light spin combo for casting the Rapala Ultra Light minnows and shads at flathead and bream. The baitcaster combo of choice was my Okuma V-200A on the Silstar Barra Stik rod, while my spin combo was my new Okuma Avenger II 25 on the Okuma Taurino rod.

The Okuma V-System 200a Baitcaster

After having enough I left my creek and headed off, back towards the boat ramp, where I found a small sand bottom inlet, unlikely for a boat to access.

I cast at the snaggy bank and gave my X-rap 10 two sharp twitches and let the lure pause, as if to imitate an injured baitfish. When I began to twitch again I felt a thump… thump …thump. Then a flash of silver darted through the water. My first call was a nice little barra, but when the fish got close to the yak it became obvious it was a huge bream. The fish thrashed across the surface, shaking it’s head in attempt to spit the hooks. Unfortunately for me he did, before swimming away and down into the muddy water. I think I recall him rudely flicking his fin up at me, as if to give me the bird, while he disappeared into the depths.

Losing fish isn't fun, but you have to keep casting and hope for another.

After I finished crying over what would have been a PB bream I continued my search for a new creek. I paddled my way looking for promising snags till I found a mangrove tree which had collapsed into the water. I cast on an angle which allowed me to land my lure between the branches of the fallen tree. I aggressively twitched my lure into the timber then SMACK it was dragged in deeper by a bronze mangrove jack. I managed to pull the jack out of that snag, but he soon hooked the other set of trebles on a mangrove root in the shallows along the bank.

Once I made it to the bank I jumped out of the yak, into the shin deep water, then pulled him off the snag and pinned him down in the seat of my kayak, so he couldn’t escape like the bream managed to early on. The jack was tagged and released after a couple quick pictures.

The latest trend in fish fashion

I can’t wait to head back up to the new creeks I found with my 6’6” Okuma X-Factor 1-3kg rod so I can chase down those bream. When fishing close into the snags and in the skinny creeks it really pays off to have a shorter rod. But then again my 7’2” Okuma Taurino is unbeatable for castability and is by far a better option for flats, rocks and beaches when casting either soft or hardbody lures.

A nice jack from my my new 'Secret Spot'

This trip really proved to me the importance of exploring my local estuary to look for those hot spots that everyone goes straight past.
Words and Pics: Rhett Thorne - reproduced with permission. Read more of Rhett's fishing adventures at Mad Keen Yak Angling.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Common Sense Prevails for Now!

If you've been buying sinkers lately you might have noticed that some stores are stocking "lead free" sinkers. It would appear that these sinkers' biggest selling point is that they are "environmentally friendly" which presumably means that regular, lead sinkers are not. But is that correct? Are lead sinkers harmful to the environment, or at least, more harmful than other alternatives?

Not according to the American Environmental Protection Agency.  On Valentine's Day ( February 14, 2012) ,  the EPA pub rejected a request to ban lead in all fishing tackle made by  the Center for Biological Diversity and two other groups claiming that lead tackle harmed water birds.

In dismissing this most recent petition, the EPA held that there was no evidence of an unreasonable risk. The decision has been applauded by fishing groups including the American Sportsfishing Association. According to the ASA:
  • The data does not support a  ban on lead in fishing equipment. In general, bird populations, including loons and other waterfowl species, are subject to many more substantial threats such as habitat loss through shoreline development, waste and other pollutants. Any lead restrictions on fishing tackle need to be based on sound science that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species.
  • A federal ban on the use of lead in fishing tackle will have a significant negative impact on recreational anglers and fisheries resources, but a negligible impact on waterfowl populations - the most cited reason for the ban.
  • Depending on the alternative metal and current prevailing raw material costs, non-lead fishing tackle products can cost from nine to twenty times more than lead products. Non-lead products may not be as available and most do not perform as well. Mandatory transitioning to non-lead fishing tackle would require significant and costly changes from both the industry and anglers.
  • A federal ban of lead fishing tackle oversteps the EPA’s authority. Any impact of lead on waterbird populations is a localized issue which, when scientifically documented and determined to be a population threat, should be addressed by state fish and wildlife agencies through local fishing regulations.
  • America’s 60 million anglers generate more than $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy, creating employment for more than one million people.
Any real fisherman is also a real environmentalist, and it's in everyone's interest to protect the natural environment and the birds, animals and fish in it. It's unfortunate that some groups feel that they should pursue certain agendas without any supporting evidence, instead of focusing their energies on the areas that science shows can really make a difference.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's the best time to go fishing?

Is this the best watch for fishermen?
 What's the best time to go fishing? All of us here at FishMax agree that any time is a good time to go fishing, but it is true that some times the fishing will be better than others! Is it science, art or black magic? Well we think it's a bit of all three, but there is no doubt that various factors including the moon cycle play a huge part in determining whether you're going to have a good day (or night) fishing or not.

If you feel you need a little help skewing the odds in your favour when it comes time to catch big fish, then we suggest you checkout one of the specialist Fishing Watches from Casio. Released as part of the Casio Outgear range (which includes specialist watches for hunting, sailing and other activities), the Casio Outgear Fishing Gear watch, has a number of great features for the fisherman. As well as being a great looking and waterproof watch, the Casio Fishing Gear has a unique function which tracks moon cycles and provides a "Fishing Level Indicator" which Casio claims indicates the suitability of  a particular date and time for fishing.

We've been trialing the Casio fishing watch for a few weeks now and what we can say is that it is robust, easy to use and read and comfortable to wear. We can't really say that the fishing level indicator has actually improved our catch, as so many variables are involved when it comes to fishing, but what we can say is that it certainly doesn't hurt!

If you would like to try this unique fishing watch yourself, take a look at DealFox who currently have the Casio Outgear Fishing Gear watch for sale online for just $49.95 (usual price $109.95) plus free shipping. Click here for details.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tough, Unbreakable and Good looking!

Nope not Snap, but these Zenki water bottles!

Over the Christmas holiday break we were able to road test a range of stainless steel drink bottles from Zenki make a variety of drink bottles, starting at 500ml single walled bottles which are perfect for the kids to take to school but the ones that really got us excited were the twin wall insulated models. These bottles feature two layers of solid stainless steel, vacuum insulated so they keep drinks hot or cold for up to 12 hours. They are as light as aluminium bottles and a lot lighter than an equivalent glass bottle. These insulated models kept our drinking water fresh, cool and great tasting for the whole day out on our boat, in spite of not being stored in the esky. They look great, in a brushed stainless steel silver finish, but are tough and virtually unbreakable.

All Zenki bottles are made from 100% food grade stainless steel 304. Free of nasty chemicals the bottles are certified BPA & PHTHALATE free, with no inner lining, resins, paint or aluminium.
They come in a variety of sizes, from 500ml, 750ml to a jumbo 1800 ml version which is ideal for a day out on the boat or to fill your smaller bottles as you need. The 1800 ml has a handy carry handle. The cap is a leak-proof screw top, sealed with a silicon rubber O ring.

Zenki bottles are available online at and start at $19.95 for the single walled version, up to $65.00 for the 1800ml twin walled insulated bottle, which is great value considering that they will last a life time and that your drinking water will always taste as fresh as the first day you use it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is this the best fishing app?

While they are not yet ready to replace dedicated marine electronics, there are many great fishing apps for smartphones out there, and we've just located one we think might be the best fishing app for iphone around. Designed by Australian kayak fishing fishing personality, Robbie Wells the Fish Boat Nav is packed with over 15 handy features, including a marine directory, comprehensive fish species guide, green zones, ability to save boat ramp locations and knotting guides to name a few.
Whether it's fly fishing, bass fishing, ocean fishing, deep sea, rock or even kayak fishing, Fish Boat Nav has you covered for your next boating, fishing and camping trip. Featuring an extensive fish species guide, Fish Boat Nav is the ultimate iPhone fishing app that can be used for fishing and boating.

The Google maps navigation function allows you to save hotspots to later revisit them, and if you're unsure of how to tie your lines, the fishing knots directory features all information to help point you in the right direction.

We really like the ability to take a photo of your catch and log it with the GPS navigation function so you can go back and fish your hotspot later.

Even if you're just camping, Fish Boat Nav is your total guide for locating fishing bait and tackle shops, with it’s in built marine directory that includes local accommodation listings, as well as restaurants.

 Here is a full list of Fish Boat Nav features (as published on the FishBoatNav website):

If you're out on the water and in trouble, utilize the 911 emergency functions to access a growing list of worldwide emergency phone numbers. Even if you're just camping, Fish Boat Nav is your total guide for finding fishing bait and tackle, with it’s in built marine directory.
  • US and Australian Coast Guards
  • Environmental Protection Agencies
  • Fish Watch
  • Volunteer Marine Rescue
  • Marine Safety,
  • River watch
  • Department of Fisheries
Almanac & Tides
Ever came back from a beach fish to find your boat high and dry out the rocks? We hope not. Featuring a regularly updated tides & almanac function, Fish Boat Nav updates tidal charts and nice catchweather conditions for you, so you’ll never again be caught by surprise out on the water again.
  • Peak fishing times
  • Tidal times & heights
  • Moon & Sun phases
  • Search by date and geographical area
  • Tidal clock, tells you how many hours until high tide and vice versa

Zoning & Maps
The Fish Boat Nav mapping features is the only fishing app available with real time GPS capabilities. Record exactly where you are via Google earth, screen your area for boating hazards, screen your current map view to see exactly where you are and what you recorded on previous trips in the area. Fish Boat Nav also shows fish caught, fishing hotspots, snags, obstacles and moorings green zones previously or near you, or choose all to see everything in your current map view.
  • Record fishing hotspots
  • Log your favourite mooring
  • Identify and record boating/marine obstaclesfraser island
  • Keep track of all your snag areas.
  • Locate boat ramps
  • Real-time green zone data, restricted areas, and environmental buffers
  • Record exact co-ordinates of catch location, including technique
Fish Boat Nav features a comprehensive fish identification guide that can be accessed from multiple areas within the app, including species, types of bait lure or fly, bag limits, size requirements and other regulations specific to the area you are fishing in.
  • Record fishing hotspots
  • Log your favourite mooring
  • Identify and record boating/marine obstacles
  • Keep track of all your snag areas.crazy fish
  • Locate boat ramps
  • Real-time green zone data, restricted areas, and environmental buffers
  • Record exact co-ordinates of catch location, including technique
Have you ever kicked yourself for missing the weather reports and found yourself soaked out at sea? We have, and that's why we designed Fish Boat Nav with an in-built weather feature, that is linked with weather bureaus the world over. Just say you went on a Barramundi fishing trip in Australia, and then went for a spot of Salmon fishing in Canada. By the time you'd arrive, the weather charts would have already been updated. From humidity, to precipitation, to wind speed, Fish Boat Nav has you covered.
  • Humidity & precipitation
  • Wind direction & speed
  • Swell direction & height
  • Access wind speed data up to the hour through Seabreeze
  • Current temperature and future forecasts

Boat Ramps
boat rampNever worry about finding a boat ramp again. Fish Boat Nav features an ever growing and comprehensive data-base with an every growing list of exact GPS locations for boat ramps around the world.
  • Save your favourite boat ramp, including distance to get there
  • Locate boat ramps (pending)
  • Take photo’s of the ramps location, for future reference
Marine Directory
Fish Boat Nav is supported by a complete A-Z marine directory that will not only find you accommodation, but will also direct you to your nearest bait & tackle outlet. If the fish aren’t biting and you’re looking for a restaurant, or a great spot for a picnic, Fish Boat Nav will happily point you in the right direction.
  • awesome fishLocate Bait & Tackle stores
  • Find local restaurant’s, accommodation, and boating outlets
  • Locate Chandlery’s the world over

Fish Boat Nav truly has it all, including a detailed marine and fishing knot directory. Our comprehensive knot database will walk you through step-by-step, having you tying the perfect braid, terminal, mono and marine knots in no time. Even if you’re a pro, Fish Boat Navs knot directory is the ultimate fishing utility for the most seasoned angler.
  • Terminal
  • Mono
  • Braid
  • Marine
fishing for children
Record all your favourite moorings and re-visit them at a later date all thanks to Fish Boat Nav. Take a photo of the area, send it to your mates and suggest the mooring to them on FacebookAccess all your saved moorings and even find moorings closest to you. Pretty handy for when mother nature flexes her muscle.
  • Record mooring co-ordinate's
  • Share mooring locations with friends
  • Identifies obstacles
Fish Details
Log all the catch info under the species with all relevant details such as date ,time, cruiserweight , length , how it was caught (lure ,bait ,fly details i.e.-color /type , number of fish caught) technique ,choose bottom structure, water column details . Fish Boat Nav even saves tide cycles, the temperature and exact GPS location with a detailed map of exactly where the fish was caught for future reference.
  • All you need to know fishing guide
  • Hints & tips
Location Details
Record every detail of your trip, whether its from your favourite hotspot in a murky estuary, off the coast down on the rocks, or even out on the open water. Hey, even if you were fishing for Salmon in the Canadian Rockies, you'd still be able record your exact location, and re-visit it later with Fish Boat Nav guiding you there.
  • Stores GPS data
  • Self guiding navigation tool
Calculatorred fish
Calculations for oil mix ratios can all be done through Fish Boat Nav, promoting cost-effective trip planning with this awesome apps in-built fuel consumption calculator. This function was designed by boaties, with the needs of boaties in mind, and its a truly awesome way to help you get the most out of your trip whilst saving money at the same time
  • Consumption calculator
  • Oil mix ratios
  • Saves time
  • Saves money
 To download this great fishing iphone app, visit the FishBoatNav website.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Product Review - Navman MY Escape

What you really want to avoid!
Towing a boat can be a pain at the best of times, but as you know, when you’re not exactly sure where you’re going or are not familiar with the roads, it’s even worse. A new product from Navman called Navman MY Escape is going to make things a lot easier for Aussie fishermen who tow a boat, caravan or Trailer.
The MY Escape by Navman is pre-loaded with Lonely Planet Travel Guides and 25 Lonely Planet Scenic Routes and 4WD tracks as well as over 8,000 extra points of interest such as camping and fishing sites, but that’s not really the big selling point for us – what really makes this Navman GPS so useful for those of us towing boats is the “Large Vehicle Assist” which gives specialised information for larger vehicles like trucks, 4WDs, or vehicles towing boats, caravans or trailers.
Navman MY Escape great for boaties

In addition, there are other new premium safety features which warn of lane merges or unexpected sharp turns and driver fatigue warning will remind drivers to take a break when driving continuously for more than two hours and drivers can also avoid frustrating traffic jams. The Navman MY Escape GPS also comes with free LIVE SUNA Traffic Updates while school zone warnings, speed limit information and speed and red light camera warnings can help to keep you safer on the roads while towing your boat.

We road-tested the Navman MY Escape in a number of scenarios over the Summer and overall we found it a robust and very useful piece of equipment. The large screen is easy to read in all conditions, and the big buttons make it easy to navigate. We particularly liked the feature which “shaded out” letters where they didn’t exist in any of the possible city and street names. E.g. if you typed “C” then “Q” was shaded out as no cities have names that start with “CQ”. This made it a lot easier to hit the correct letters, a big problem for many fat fingered fishermen!
Certainly when towing the boat on the highway, the “Large Vehicle Assist” was a huge benefit, ensuring that we always avoided problems including little annoyances like having to deal with incoming/merging traffic.

We only have two small complaints about the Navman My Escape, the first was the responsiveness of the touch screen, which is a little slow when you compare it to other makes we’ve used and positively glacial if you compare it to your smart phone. The other thing was that it was occasionally inaccurate with speed-zones, in particular often calling “school zone” when there was a school nearby e.g. beside the highway, even though we weren’t actually in the school zone itself. It is hoped that this later problem is fixed in subsiquent map updates.

With a RRP of $599 the Navman MY Escape is not cheap, but if you tow a boat, caravan or trailer, we think you will find the additional features make this a GPS you really should consider.

For more information visit NAVMAN official website.